Apple Working on Long Overdue Apple Maps Expansion

The detailed city experience in Apple Maps 7 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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It already feels like Apple has been working on the detailed city experience since forever, mainly as the rollout happens in stages and Apple doesn't seem to be in a rush to reach the broad availability phase.
However, as the competition in the navigation space is becoming more intense and Apple has no option but to become fully committed to Apple Maps as a way to bolster its automotive presence, big news seems to be on the radar.

First, the iPhone maker will begin image data collection in Hungary. The company has updated its website to reveal that its cars will arrive in the country on April 15 and will continue collecting data until July 5. It doesn't mean users in Hungary will receive the detailed city experience this year because this update takes time, especially considering the amount of data involved.

Second, Apple keeps improving Flyover availability worldwide, with the feature recently becoming available in new US locations, including Chattanooga (Tennessee), St. George (Utah), and Birmingham (Alabama). Flyover has also appeared in other regions, but without an official announcement, it's hard to determine all locations where you can now access the 3D imagery (if you spot an announcement location, please share it in the comment box after the jump).

The detailed city experience is the biggest Apple Maps overhaul in history, turning the app into a worthy alternative to Google Maps.

While I've been trying to use the old Apple Maps on several occasions to replace Google Maps, the experience feels like a major downgrade, mainly due to the lack of detailed maps and new-generation features. For example, the previous Apple Maps iteration did not provide accurate driving directions, and some roads in my hometown were even missing from the maps.

The new-generation Apple Maps comes with detailed maps with additional information, such as medians and crosswalks. It also offers incident reporting similar to Waze, allowing users to flag the location on the map for hazards like accidents and speed traps. Look Around allows users to explore a location using street-level imagery similar to Google's Street View, albeit the photos sport a higher resolution.

Apple has so far remained tight-lipped on its next location to receive the detailed city experience, but I expect an announcement in the coming weeks. The company could also share additional details at WWDC, its developer event, where it might reveal new features coming to Apple Maps with the release of iOS 18.

The next major iOS update is projected to launch in the fall, and considering Apple no longer has a car to fuel its automotive ambitions, investing more aggressively in Apple Maps and CarPlay remains the only strategy. iOS 18 will launch in September, but a preview will be offered in June at the developer conference.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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